Former state legislator narrowly lost to Republican Governor Brian Kemp in 2018
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com
ATLANTA (CFP) — Democrat Stacey Abrams has launched a new bid for Georgia governor, setting up a possible rematch with Republican Governor Brian Kemp — if he can get through his party’s primary in the face of fierce opposition from Donald Trump.
Abrams, 47, a former state legislator who founded a voting rights group after her 2018 loss to Kemp, announced her candidacy in a video posted on Twitter December 1, reviving the “one Georgia” theme that was central to her 2018 campaign.
“If our Georgia is going to move to its next and greatest chapter, we’re going to need leadership,” she said. “Leadership that knows how to do the job. Leadership that doesn’t take credit without also taking responsibility. Leadership that understands the true pain folks are felling and has real plans.”
In 2018, Abrams lost to Kemp by 55,000 votes, coming closer to winning the governorship than any Democrat had in two decades. She acknowledged Kemp’s win but refused to formally concede, alleging that voting suppression tactics had tainted the outcome.
At the time, Kemp was in charge of state elections as secretary of state.
After her loss, Abrams founded a voting rights group, Fair Fight, and led an effort to mobilize Democratic voters that was widely credited with Joe Biden’s win in Georgia in 2020 and victories in two U.S. Senate runoffs.
While she is unlikely to face any significant opposition in the Democratic primary, Kemp may not have that luxury.
Trump — angry that Kemp didn’t go along with efforts to overturn the 2020 results in Georgia — has been encouraging Republicans to try to take the governor down in a primary. His criticism has taken a toll on Kemp’s approval rating, which stood at just 42% in a recent Morning Consult poll.
Former U.S. Senator David Perdue is reportedly considering launching a primary challenge, which could plunge Republicans into ugly combat as Abrams stands by turning her national profile into a mountain of cash.
If elected, Abrams would be the first woman and the first person of color to serve as the state’s chief executive. However, Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.